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Donots: Pure Punk at heart

The DONOTS are back! The new album shows clearly that this German band around singer Ingo has left the usual Rock path. The band sounds more mature, the songs on „The Long Way Home“ tend to sound much more like Punk Rock than ever, and the consequent realization of it all is remarkable. A good reason to snatch guitarist Guido before the DONOTS concert in Munich for a little chat...

How were the shows so far?
The shows were great. We cannot complain! Six sold out concerts so far, and especially with the new songs you get very excited, that´s good!

As you mention the new songs, how was the response?
Great, especially with instruments like violin and acoustic guitar you can create a level of suspense. We also have a sixth member, Stefan Schunder, who plays a six-string as special show treat.

How do you feel despite all the routine, when a new album comes out?
That´s tough especially when you´re touring afterwards. We were pretty worried how the fans would react to the new stuff. We had a lot of rehearsals, but we had a lot of other stuff to do as well. You need to grow into it, especially when the setlist is nes, when you have new instruments added etc. Moreover, we haven´t had a live show for four months, that makes it clear, but everything worked out fine.

How do you choose your setlist?
The setlist is changing daily, although the basics will stay the same. But that´s what you find out during rehearsals. And besides that, after the first few shows on a tour you find out which songs work and which don´t.

Do you still feel connected with the Punkscene?
Musically it has changed of course, we are nowadays rather a mixture of normal Rock with Punk Rock influences. I myself feel Punk at heart, the basic idea is still there that connects us to our early days. Musically we have definitely developed, and it would be a bit too boring to play the same stuff over and over again.

Do you think that your original fans are still there? Did you find new ones? Was there a shift in the age group?
Yeah there are some who are still running, and there has been a new rush with the new record. There are people who tell you „I heard you a thousand years ago, now I have the new cd and I want more“. Many fans lost their connection with us after the „Pocketrock“ CD, now many are back again and are excited.

Now I give you some cues and you just say what comes to your mind
- characteristics of a guitar player?

He should have a guitar, feeling and charisma.

- characteristics of a singer?
He should be able to talk and write lyrics.

- democracy?
We are a totally democratic band and sometimes this is super challenging, because we have different opinions. And sometimes it takes a while to achieve a result.

Have you focused the new album on a particular theme?
It´s mainly about travelling and how you develop emotionally, but we also have many personal things in our lyrics.

What do you do in order to stay cool&relaxed during a tour?
We have never been really fighting in those 17 years, never yelling at each other. Naturally there are different opinions, like in every band, but we just talk about it. You can feel when you wreck somebody else´s nerves. Our differences are settled usually via Nintendo and Mariocart – who wins can make the next decision.

Is there a certain piece of equipment you have to have on tour?
It´s really bad since iPhone, everybody is playing around with it, but for us those IPhones/Laptops are really important, because we also run our label ourselves and therefore need those to do our work. Nice thing on the road to have such electronic equipment.

Do you prefer playing in small clubs or at real big festivals?
Well,both is cool, we enjoy playing both clubs and festivals equally. We have been playing here at Backstage several times and liked it a lot. Still we would enjoy playing a small venue in Munich, therefore we booked the 59:1 club.

You have been touring Japan, is there any difference between Asian fans and fans here?
Yes, it´s like people from another planet. They get a drink and when they want to dance, put their cups down ordely at the side. After the concert the cups are taken away, and really „you can eat from the floor“. At festivals they even have portable ash trays. When we played the first concert, the first song, then huge applause then suddenly dead silence - but this is something about courtesy, they don´t want to interrupt the person who is speaking.

At which point is a CD a success … or is the new album successful already?
Yes indeed Ja, auf jeden Fall! „The Long Way Home“ entered the charts at position 24, therefore we are totally satisfied. If one album is successful is also indicatec by the amount of people coming to the shows. But it is great to see how people enjoy your music.

What are your favorites on the new album?
It depends, but „...we you are“, „...day“, and „dead man walking“ are my faves.

Which bands do you like?
There are three influential bands: Ramset, Bad Religion and Face To Face. But I also listen to Bryan Adams, Pantera or all that Death-Metal stuff, depending on my mood.


Author: Karoline Seibel, Stephan Knackert; Photos: Donots
Date: 2010-06-21

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